Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach.
First, congratulate yourself for getting out or recognising the need to leave them. It is far from easy, listening to your instincts instead of your heart and trauma bonded mind is an incredibly hard thing to do, you’re well on your way to a better life for you from today, even if it doesn’t feel like that right now, believe in yourself you’ve got out of a very abusive traumatic relationship, if you have left them, or they’ve left you for someone new, you are looking for answers that’s the best place to start.
No, even if you’re feeling slightly crazy right now. You are not a narcissist.
So how do you get over them?
Right now you may hate them, you know they stole from you, mentally and some physically abused you, lied to you, cheated on you, yet you’ve been back and forth a few times, you now see that they are a narcissist and you just can not stop thinking about them.
It’s incredibly annoying, I know it all too well I’ve been through it also.
Your pride and ego have taken a massive blow, that you let them get away with so much, that you put all that time and effort into yourself to change to who they wanted you to be and they still didn’t care for your thoughts or feelings, that they sold you a dream and then delivered you a nightmare, yet you went back for more, you tried to help them, and at every turn, they twisted it back onto why you were at fault, you feel bad within yourself that you allowed them to treat you that way, you also feel horrible for those moments you reacted to them at times.
You’re left with deep pain, shame and bitterness, in your mind and heart. You might be thinking you desperately need them back.
So you need to break the trauma bond.
When you’ve been in a relationship where one day you are worshipped and the next you’re being ignored.
One minute they’re nice, the next they’re hurling abuse towards you.
Those highs and lows of a relationship with a narcissist actually release, the chemicals oxytocin, which encourages the bonding, endogenous opioids – responsible for pleasure, pain, withdrawal, dependence; a corticotropin-releasing factor which involves removal, and stress; and dopamine which is connected to the craving, seeking, wanting the narcissist back, even when they’ve caused you extreme pain.
The experience is exceptionally traumatic if they were horrible towards you all the time and were never nice to you, you’d just not like them, when someone is mean to you and says they hate you, it’s easy to see.
When someone is so cruel towards you, yet says they love you, it’s mind-blowing because they come along sweeping you off your feet making your life amazing, you fall madly in love with them, then they push you away and down into depths of despair, then they come and rescue you all over again, so the cycle begins and continues, until you brake it, which might seem impossible right now, but believe me it is possible, others have done it before you and so will you.
There is nothing wrong with you, and it’s human nature, it’s the power the narcissist has over you. You can break that power, and you are in control of you.
You can escape, and you can break free. You can break that trauma bond, another way too do this is to work through every single emotion you have got.
Another method to try is radical acceptance.
When you stop fighting reality and dig deep into every little thing that happened to you, going deep into your soul no matter how hard, or how much you want to run from the pain, those thoughts and feeling, sometimes the best way out is the hardest route out but gives you a much better recovery.
You may be suffering anger and resentment towards the person that hurt you, towards others and towards the world at large, holding onto your anger will not help your healing, your resentment is intense, you want the other person to know just how much they’ve hurt you. They either don’t recognise that they hurt you and blame you or if they do your anger towards them, only distracts them from their own failings and guilt, taking it out on them, will not teach them, it will only hurt you more.
This doesn’t mean you have to accept them, embrace them, this means you stand up for yourself with respect toward you, you move forward with your life, stronger wiser, and with the knowledge, you didn’t have before. Strengthen your support system, rebuild and strengthen your boundaries, stand up for yourself in effective ways.
If you are angry with yourself, the same applies, move on with what you’ve learned and forgive yourself.
Radical acceptance doesn’t mean, you have to accept what happened or agree to what happened, it means no longer fighting reality, now you know what happened, acknowledging and accepting what happened was real.
The same goes for radical acceptance within your own behaviours, things that have knocked your own pride over the course of the relationship, the truth is you did what you did at the moment, you reacted how most empaths would, you may have gone into one of the fight, flight, freeze or fawn, survival modes, you don’t have to approve or agree with your actions or to take them back, you just have to accept you did what you did at the moment often with good intentions, and then, take the lesson from it and move forward with your life.
Sometimes holding onto anger and resentment, means you’re protecting yourself from your true feelings, although you’re hurt and sad, feeling angry is covering up and not allowing you to let out the more profound pain, the deeper hurt and the deeper suffering, you have to allow yourself time to grieve correctly.
Sometimes we do forget and forgive too easily and go back to those who hurt us as in that moment they’re making us happy again, the answer to this is you’ve tried that before, how did it work out for you? If you’re the same as me it just resulted in more suffering, it might be incredibly hard right now, but you need to take your life into a different direction, as that one is not working out for you.
You have to take ownership, and accept the whole thing, no matter who was to blame, who caused all that hurt, pain and anger, you have to accept ownership of reality, accept and forgive yourself, and pass the responsibility and blame back to the rightful owner for their actions, within your mind as it’s not all your fault and no matter what’s happened no one should treat you the way a narcissist has.
It’s hard for the ego to let go of the games, not to want to defend yourself, sometimes it ends up being like sibling rivalry, they took this that and the other from me, so to make myself feel better I need to take x y and z from them.
The narcissist will enjoy you trying to do that, the best thing you can do is move on for yourself, leave them be, let them have what they have as they’ll never be happy, you can start over, you’re never too old, and it’s never too late, you can create your happiness again.
You need to tell yourself the whole truth, which can be hard when you’re in a trauma bond. There may be lots of things you did and said that’s unlike the true you and you wish you hadn’t, there will be things that happened to you, which you’ll wish never did, but they did, so accept them all, grieve them all, let them all out, process each one, then leave it in the past where it belongs, and find your new dreams now.
You need to be objective, don’t run away from the grief, the sadness and the loss, take it on, accept it.
The narcissist can not be helped, and they can not be rescued, if you still love them or hate them, you have to work through it all.
No one can love them back to life, the more you play with them, the more pain you’ll suffer. You need to accept and let go of the idea you can help them.
You need to let go of what could have been, and accept what is.
You need to let go of those false dreams.
You’ve got to want to heal the trauma bond, anxiety and the CPTSD then move forward with your life. Only you can do this when you’re ready to.
You can, and you will.
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Fight, flight, freeze, fawn.
Overcoming Anger and resentment.